When plenty of people told me that studying abroad was going to be an adventure, I didn’t know it was going to start before I even left for the airport. But yesterday was the day that a blizzard chose to hit Chicago and, from the sound of it, half the country. I woke up to the news that 750 flights had already been cancelled at O’hare. And I thought, “God, you’re going to make sure I leave trusting you.”
So I called in my people, my prayer warriors. And I’m calling y’all that intentionally because I really do believe we were fighting a battle not just against the snow, but against doubt and fear. Between the people I texted, people my mom texted, and my family, I probably had somewhere around 50 people praying specifically that my flight would get out of Chicago, in time to make my connection in Miami. Maybe more, I don’t really know. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is this: my flight wasn’t even delayed. I was one of very few people in O’hare yesterday who made it onto the flight I was originally scheduled to be on and out of the city. And the battle was won in more ways than one. I was worried, but I knew that my flight was leaving Chicago that day with me on it.
What I didn’t know was that there was a rain shower over Miami. Which put us in a holding pattern with a bunch of other incoming planes. Which meant that ten minutes late became twenty minutes late, and then we had to be towed to the gate, and then before you knew it, it was 9:52 and my connecting flight to Buenos Aires was already boarding – and set to leave at 10:20 – on the other side of the terminal.
Thankfully, I’m not the only one from my program on either of these flights. I knew I wasn’t going to get far running with my backpack and duffel bag, but I tried anyway. (Shoutout to anyone who saw me in the Miami airport and didn’t think I was out of my mind). My new friends from the program ran on ahead – a stellar thing actually because I knew they would tell the gate agent our flight in had been delayed and that the odds were much better they would hold it for me.
Yeah, I knew that in my head somewhere. That didn’t stop me from texting Kathryn and calling my mother and having a complete and total panic while attempting to run/speed walk/ride a sky train (why do airports do this?!) to gate D37 from gate D3. That didn’t stop me from believing I wasn’t going to make it. Where was that faith from earlier? Yep, gone.
Fortunately, Kathryn is a wonderful person and my phone lit up while I was struggling through the terminal crying on the phone with my mother. (Again I say – shoutout to anyone who saw me in the Miami airport. I was a real hot mess, y’all). I had 100% forgotten I was texting her while she was at Navs, but I was, and she texted me to say that our Bible study prayed for me. And you know what? Between than, my mom calming me down, and McKayla calling to give me a flight status update and telling me to breathe (you rock girl) I was okay. I knew I was going to make it even in the middle of my ridiculous fear that I very much wouldn’t. And I say ridiculous because honestly- if God had let me get this far, and clearly gone ahead of me on this journey, don’t you think I could have believed he could get me on that airplane?
Live and learn, my mom said. I think she was referring to me choosing to take a duffle bag over a roller bag and then attempting to run with it (lol valid) but still – it applies to this as well. Prayer is powerful, friends. It got me to this country and its going to radically change what I do while I’m here.
Also, we’re about to land, and it’s gorgeous. How did the rest of the flight go, you ask? Stellar. Found my seat, and eventually the man next to me asked if I had ever been to Argentina before, so I explained where I was coming from and why. He proceeded to tell me about his trips to New York, his work as an architect, and his trip with his wife to China to feed pandas for a day. And that’s how I met my first Argentine! Then I tried to sleep, but man, the human body is just not designed to sleep sitting up. I woke up sore every half hour or so, but I still go some sleep so that’s what counts.
My new traveling companion asked me how I slept this morning and agreed with my conclusion about sleeping on planes, then said “Ah, but here they are bringing breakfast, so everything will be a-ok.” If this is life in Argentina, sign me up!